How the corona crisis changed the game for some of your favorite summer staples

Every day might still feel the same, but you can tell it’s summer by what’s on our shopping carts.


May 25, 2020

We’re gearing up for a long staycation. We’re filling our fridges with a quintessential quarantine food. And the kids are still driving parents bonkers at home.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer in the US — even though it might not quite feel like it this year.

Here’s one way we know today does still count as the kickoff to summer: Our shopping habits show we’ve been preparing for it in a big way — for one thing, RV rentals and sales are spiking.

And look at what else is in our carts…

Here are a few ways life in quarantine scrambled our summertime habits:

🌭 Hot dog sales are hotter than ever. An Insider column called them “the best quarantine food,” and it’s hard to disagree. They’re cheap, they have a long shelf life (helpful when beef is harder to come by), and kids love ‘em. Since early March, sales have been at least 29% higher every week compared to last year.

👙 Everybody wants a swimming pool. Backyard builders are seeing a wave of interest, and you don’t need to sink your budget: Minnidip, the makers of chic adult kiddie pools (yes, they exist), saw record-breaking sales in April, according to the LA Times. People are chilling out on their patios… and in parking lots.

A true backyard oasis needs more decor. Overstock.com says it’s seen an even higher than usual spike in sales of outdoor furniture — especially small sets that can be wedged onto the balcony of a city apartment.

☀️ Sunscreen brands are feeling the burn. Sunscreen sales dipped by 17% in mid-March. So SPF-ficionados pivoted hard: Glossy said Sun Bum had planned to repeat a skin-cancer awareness challenge encouraging its followers to wear a banana costume — but scrapped it because the messaging felt off. Its best-selling products? Hand sanitizer and hair care.

⛺️ Summer camp won’t be the same. Axios reported that camps nationwide are retooling — CDC guidelines say they shouldn’t open unless they can screen everyone for symptoms when they arrive. Camps are delaying openings, installing hand-washing stations, canceling high-touch activities, and going virtual. Ghost stories by Zoom, anyone?

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